New Program Teaches Skills for Social and Academic Success
SEATTLE, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Committee for Children is releasing a completely new edition of their Second Step social-skills program, based in part on research that shows that children with better social-emotional skills do better academically. The release includes a specially designed curriculum for early childhood, a brand-new but much anticipated addition to the critically acclaimed program.
Recent research shows that kids who have better problem-solving, emotion-management, and self-control skills score higher on standardized tests than those who don't. This fact is already well accepted by educators: the evidence-based Second Step social and emotional learning curriculum was first introduced in schools 20 years ago and has undergone several revisions as new research comes to light. Over the years, the program has received top ratings from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health, and Justice. It is currently taught in over 25,000 schools across North America, and in thousands more schools around the globe.
"Although we know that the Second Step program has been an immensely popular and effective tool for teachers and students, we wanted to take the program to a completely new level," says Joan Cole Duffell, the Seattle-based organization's executive director.
"In addition to the traditional Second Step skills that help students get along with one another—empathy, emotion management, and problem solving," says Dr. Brian Smith, a researcher who helped develop the program, "The new version of Second Step teaches skills shown to support academic achievement, such as listening, paying attention, following directions, and ignoring distractions."
And Committee for Children has partnered with the Devereaux Foundation, a national authority in the assessment of student protective factors. Devereaux created a customized adaptation of their Student Strengths Assessment that maps directly to the new Second Step program. The multiple-choice test can be used as a pre- and post-assessment and provides a simple way for educators to track their students' progress.
"Today's teachers face many challenges," continues Duffell. "Getting their students to sit still, listen, get along, and follow directions should be the least of their worries, but in many cases this has become their primary task—which reduces teaching time and encumbers student learning. The new Second Step program helps teachers give their students the skills they need to be successful in school and in their relationships with others."
The new edition of the program also makes materials for educators, administrators, and parents available online, increasing the program's accessibility and eliminating the need for expensive photocopies.
New songs, music videos, and video stories help students learn and remember new skills. And with fully-scripted, colorful photo-lesson cards, five-minute "Daily Practice" activities, and Academic Integration Activities for every subject from math to physical education, the new Second Step program is designed to improve the academic and social culture of a classroom or school.
"Simply put," Duffell says, "The new edition of Second Step helps create an environment where teachers can teach and students can learn."
To learn more about Committee for Children and its Second Step program, visit www.cfchildren.org.
About Committee for Children
Seattle-based nonprofit Committee for Children is the world's leading provider of educational programs that teach skills to prevent bullying, violence, and child sexual abuse. Committee for Children is helping more than 9 million students in 25,000 schools in 26 countries around the globe stay safe, respect themselves and others, succeed in school today, and build a better world tomorrow. To learn more, go to www.cfchildren.org.
SOURCE Committee for Children